By Amanda Painter
How often do you think about the difference between what it means to be fully present with your entire being during sex, versus ‘performing’ sex or ‘acting sexy’ to meet cultural expectations? That is, how much do you allow yourself to experience sensuality, vulnerability, intimacy, passion and some sense of union — whether with some facet of yourself or with another person — when you engage your sexual energy?
I ask because this week’s astrology seems to be offering those very questions, plus a few others.
You might not have an answer at your fingertips, and that’s okay; society in general does not seem to encourage a lot of deep introspection on this topic. Although, if you read your horoscope and astrology columns, that suggests you’re looking for some kind of deeper insight into yourself.
Friday’s Taurus New Moon, which is exact at 3:29 pm EDT (19:29 UTC), is the main event prompting a more inward focus this week. This is the Moon conjunct the Sun in mid-Taurus — a special zone of the zodiac, most notably because the Sun’s arrival there divides the current season in half.
The Sun at mid-Taurus signals one of the old Pagan cross-quarter days: mid-season celebrations that fall between an equinox and a solstice. I’m not a practicing Pagan, so my understanding of these very old holidays comes mainly through the context of astrology; but the early May / mid-Taurus holiday is called Beltane, and it celebrates sexual fertility, the fertility of the Earth, and union. Traditionally one might slip out into the fields or woods to, ahem, frolic al fresco, and in so doing, bless the Earth.
With the Moon currently in Taurus and waning toward new, however, you might be noticing that your awareness of Beltane themes — sexuality, union, contact with the Earth, experiencing your senses — is drawing you within yourself, rather than inviting you to go frolic wantonly under the Sun. The again, maybe not; maybe you’re always primed for an expressive, lusty rendezvous. Even in that case, consider allowing for a little more introspection as you head toward the weekend.
One of the factors emphasizing this direction of awareness and understanding is that Mercury is retrograde in Taurus, having stationed one week ago on April 28. On one level, Mercury is possibly throwing a monkey wrench into things like communication, your computer, travel plans and major purchases.
In fact, just yesterday a friend of mine detailed on Facebook her repeated, frustrating attempts to have an assembled gas grill delivered to her home, only to find it did not work each time. After requesting suggestions from her friends on how to handle the situation, she finally attempted to take part of it apart and fix it herself. She succeeded — illustrating that one theme of Mercury retrograde in Taurus might be to discover resources and resourcefulness you did not think you possessed.
On a less mundane or tangible level, Mercury retrograde in Taurus — just a few degrees from the New Moon — emphasizes that some form of review or inner accounting of your inner erotic resources may be in order. Venus, just a few degrees from the New Moon on its other flank, enhances the emotional-level understanding of these ideas. It’s softening the ground, so to speak, to help you feel the insights and let their value soak in.
This brings us back to my initial questions regarding whether you really let yourself connect your physical senses to your emotions and conscious awareness in sexual situations. It can be hard for a lot of people, and scary, even if you do not carry significant emotional or physical pain in this area of your life. True intimacy and vulnerability might be intimidating; following passion can seem ‘too wild’ or risky.
Yet, at the same time, if you really tune into your sensual longings and the emotions they evoke, do you also start to notice glowing embers that begin to brighten with each breath? Do they cast enough light for you to see something you’d like to make contact with, and perhaps even share with another person?
There’s a fascinating collection of asteroids and minor objects lined up in the other three fixed signs (Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius), all in the same degree that the Sun and Moon occupy in Taurus Friday. This makes a fixed grand cross. Without getting bogged down in details, I think I see a message emerging. (I’ll post the list in the comments for those who are curious.)
It has something to do with the push and pull of your own personal, deep, unique sexual desires; opening the lid on something you’ve been told not to look into (perhaps out of fear or an effort to control you); perhaps exceeding what others think is possible; and meeting the regenerative power of what you think it will take to make things better or heal.
The first step, I think, is to engage your senses in any way that feels like a personal celebration: enjoy touching, smelling, tasting, hearing and looking at what’s around you. From there, you can listen within. The choice is yours.